Total Public Debt Reaches GH¢139bn

Ghana’s total public debt stood at GH¢138.6 billion (68.6 percent of GDP) at the end of June 2017 from GH¢137.3 billion (68.0 percent of GDP) in May 2017.

Of the total, domestic debt remained unchanged at GH¢63.9 billion while external debt was GH¢74.6 billion.

According to the Central Bank Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, the marginal increase in the debt stock in cedi terms was due to exchange rate effects.

External performance

Dr Addison also said global developments, coupled with continued improvement in the macro fundamentals, had impacted favourably on the country’s external position.

“In the year to August 2017, the trade account showed that export earnings increased significantly by approximately US $3 billion from last year, on the back of increased production volumes in gold, cocoa and crude oil.

“The recovery in exports, combined with an estimated US$1 billion decline in imports, resulted in a trade surplus of 2.5 percent of

GDP against a trade deficit of 4.3 percent recorded last year.”

He indicated that such favourable developments would help build buffers against any unanticipated shocks.

Balance of payments

He said in the first half of 2017, provisional estimates of the balance of payments reflected significant improvements.

“The trade surplus translated into a relatively favourable current account deficit of US$109 million (0.2 percent of GDP) in the first half compared with a deficit of US$1.2 billion (2.8 percent of GDP) in the same period of 2016.

“The capital and financial account also improved to US$1.3 billion (2.8 percent of GDP) mainly due to increased portfolio inflows from the bond issuance in April. These resulted in an overall balance of payments surplus of US$1.2 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) compared with a deficit of US$846 million (2 percent of GDP) during the same period last year.”

Money market

“Foreign exchange market conditions remain relatively stable supported by improved liquidity conditions, despite some marginal demand pressures. In the year to August 2017, the Ghana cedi depreciated by 4.5 percent against the US dollar, compared with a depreciation of 3.9 percent in the same period of 2016.

Foreign assets

Gross Foreign Assets stood at US$7.1 billion, translating into 4.1 months of import cover at end August 2017, compared with US$4.9 billion (2.8 months of import cover) a year ago.